Hot Best Seller

Christian, the Hugging Lion

Availability: Ready to download

When John and Ace found a lion cub for sale at Harrods, they knew that a department store was no place for a lion. They took him home, named him Christian, raised him and loved him – and in the process, Christian became a London celebrity. But when Christian got too big for their apartment, Ace and John knew that it was time to let him go back to Africa, where he belonged. When John and Ace found a lion cub for sale at Harrods, they knew that a department store was no place for a lion. They took him home, named him Christian, raised him and loved him – and in the process, Christian became a London celebrity. But when Christian got too big for their apartment, Ace and John knew that it was time to let him go back to Africa, where he belonged. When they went to visit him in Africa, they were in for a wonderful surprise. Christian remembered them! This heartwarming book is based on the true story of two men who raised and loved a lion cub – which millions of fans know through the popular YouTube video.


Compare

When John and Ace found a lion cub for sale at Harrods, they knew that a department store was no place for a lion. They took him home, named him Christian, raised him and loved him – and in the process, Christian became a London celebrity. But when Christian got too big for their apartment, Ace and John knew that it was time to let him go back to Africa, where he belonged. When John and Ace found a lion cub for sale at Harrods, they knew that a department store was no place for a lion. They took him home, named him Christian, raised him and loved him – and in the process, Christian became a London celebrity. But when Christian got too big for their apartment, Ace and John knew that it was time to let him go back to Africa, where he belonged. When they went to visit him in Africa, they were in for a wonderful surprise. Christian remembered them! This heartwarming book is based on the true story of two men who raised and loved a lion cub – which millions of fans know through the popular YouTube video.

30 review for Christian, the Hugging Lion

  1. 5 out of 5

    Josiah

    In my opinion, Christian, the Hugging Lion is one of the best picture books of 2010. In fact, while I may not have opted to award it the Caldecott Medal if the selection were up to me, I almost certainly would have designated it an honoree. It's not easy to differentiate the emotion of this book from that of the famous Youtube video of the reunion between Christian the lion and his owners, Ace and John. Ace and John had lived with their affectionate pet lion cub for many months before deciding In my opinion, Christian, the Hugging Lion is one of the best picture books of 2010. In fact, while I may not have opted to award it the Caldecott Medal if the selection were up to me, I almost certainly would have designated it an honoree. It's not easy to differentiate the emotion of this book from that of the famous Youtube video of the reunion between Christian the lion and his owners, Ace and John. Ace and John had lived with their affectionate pet lion cub for many months before deciding that he would be happier growing up free in Africa, and being in such close proximity to him for so long a period must have made it feel as if he were a regular part of their family. Choosing to part company so that Christian could have his liberty in Africa surely had to have left a void in Ace and John's life, an undisturbed silence in the air where before there had been such an abundance of bustling life and the glowing playfulness of youth. When they returned to Africa a year after releasing Christian in hopes that they might be able to locate their now grown pet lion and he still would recognize them, Ace and John knew that chances were Christian had been assimilated so completely into his new pride of lions that he wouldn't even recognize the two people who had been the centerpiece of his former life. They decided to try anyway, and were rewarded by a semi-miracle of powerful emotion that vividly shows the undying endurance of real love and affection. Christian, the Hugging Lion is a lovely story with lovely illustrations and not lacking for moments of humor, but what really makes the story is the emotional connection that it's sure to forge with most readers. Everyone hopes for at least that one example of unceasing, unbreakable love in their own lives, and so I think we need to hear a story like this one every so often, to keep our hope alive and well. The drawings provided by Amy June Bates have a certain softness to them, and are very warm and sweetly done. They fit the story perfectly, with some of the book's emotional content being noticeably enhanced by Christian's close-up facial expressions as the reunion with Ace and John begins. The way that facial expressions are drawn in a picture book can mean nearly everything in how well we're able to get to know the story's cast of characters, and without Amy June Bates's heartfelt illustrations, this book would definitely be missing a vital element. I can see how Christian, the Hugging Lion could have been a legitimate contender for either Newbery or Caldecott recognition in the year it was published. It really is that good. This is one of my favorite picture books that I've read in quite a while, and I'm sure that few readers will easily forget the experience that is this story. It is a quality book in every way, and I fully recommend it.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Diane

    so loved reading the adult version of this book: A Lion Called Christian: The True Story of the Remarkable Bond Between Two Friends and a Lion, that I was very curious to check out the book for children which was released in April 2010. Richardson and Parnell, tell a heartwarming story of two men named Ace and John, who purchase a baby lion cub from Harrods in London. Together the three create a truly unique family. For one year, Christian live happily with his human family playing with toys and so loved reading the adult version of this book: A Lion Called Christian: The True Story of the Remarkable Bond Between Two Friends and a Lion, that I was very curious to check out the book for children which was released in April 2010. Richardson and Parnell, tell a heartwarming story of two men named Ace and John, who purchase a baby lion cub from Harrods in London. Together the three create a truly unique family. For one year, Christian live happily with his human family playing with toys and watching birds from the window of their tiny London apartment. He was happy to go for walks in the park with his owners, but soon Christian was no longer a tiny lion cub.....he grew and grew and grew; he even got too big for the sofa (his comfy bed at times). Ace and John knew that Christian needed a better life; he needed to be in the wild with animals like himself. They made arrangements to transport Christian to Africa. One year later Ace and John returned to Kenya to see if they could find Christian. The three were reunited, and amazingly, Christian recognized his former owners, and greeted them with a huge, emotional "lion sized hug". MY THOUGHTS - Christian the Hugging Lion is a heart warming tale, which was based on a true story. The story was very cute and although the illustrations (by Amy Bates) were nice, they were not exceptional, and lacked in color appeal, in my opinion. RECOMMENDED

  3. 5 out of 5

    VadaK

    This a joyful tale of a different kind of family. Christian is a lion cub adopted by two men who become his dad's. Based on a true story the plot is simple and age appropriate for four to seven year olds. The easy going nature of the two lion dad's is endearing and helps the reader experience the love and joy they had while raising Christian. They discover that Christian is too big for the house and city. They decided to help him make it back to the wild. They work hard to make sure that Christi This a joyful tale of a different kind of family. Christian is a lion cub adopted by two men who become his dad's. Based on a true story the plot is simple and age appropriate for four to seven year olds. The easy going nature of the two lion dad's is endearing and helps the reader experience the love and joy they had while raising Christian. They discover that Christian is too big for the house and city. They decided to help him make it back to the wild. They work hard to make sure that Christian will be able to thrive in the wild and then they must leave him. The return to see him many years later for an incredible and memorable reunion. Written by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell this book is a nominee of the Lambda Literary Award from 2011.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Joan

    Oh my gosh! Such an endearing story about the love between a lion and two young men. I love all story’s where an animal is treated with love and the respect they deserve. True story! And you can watch the real reunion video on YouTube. Love 💕 ❤️

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ngan Huynh

    a heart-warming story ♡♡♡

  6. 5 out of 5

    Marisa

    Novelist: Kindergarten - 3 Amazon: 4 - 8 years Cute story based on real events, but too long for storytime

  7. 5 out of 5

    Heidi Hart

    Two Men and a Baby... Lion? My oldest son (now three) has counted this book among his favorites for more than a year. It tells the story of Christian the lion, who became a YouTube sensation about five years ago. (I dare you to watch without tearing up!) For those not familiar with the story, two men purchase a lion cub from Harrods Department Store in the 1970s. They take him everywhere--the park, the pub, the beach--and he is a well-behaved and affectionate pet who likes to hug his people, Ace Two Men and a Baby... Lion? My oldest son (now three) has counted this book among his favorites for more than a year. It tells the story of Christian the lion, who became a YouTube sensation about five years ago. (I dare you to watch without tearing up!) For those not familiar with the story, two men purchase a lion cub from Harrods Department Store in the 1970s. They take him everywhere--the park, the pub, the beach--and he is a well-behaved and affectionate pet who likes to hug his people, Ace and John. But Christian grows (as lions do), and eventually Ace and John come to the (probably belated) realization that a London flat is no place for a lion. They relocate Christian to Kenya and leave him in the care of a Mr. Abramson, who helps reintegrate lions back into the wild. Several years later, Ace and John return to Kenya and find Christian, now fully grown and living in a pride, with a mate and cubs of his own. Amazingly, when Christian sees them, recognition is instantaneous, and he bounds over and nearly bowls both men over with the huge, enthusiastic hug that made him an internet celebrity.   My son loves this book because, come on, there're LIONS! On one page, after Christian gets to Kenya and sees the huge sky full of birds and smells honey blossoms on the breeze and scents gazelle in the distance, all of these new sensations tickle the adolescent cub's nose and twitch his tail and come rumbling out of his chest in a huge, loud ROAR... and this is unquestionably my toddler's favorite part, of course.   I love this book because Ace and John are two men, and while the story doesn't make a big deal about their relationship, it describes them as a family and the illustrations very subtly hint at their intimacy. There's nothing overt or sexual, of course (this is a kids' book!), but it's clear they are a couple: for example, they eat at a "romantic" restaurant with a red-checked tablecloth and a candle between them, and they go to the beach and camping and sprawl out with Christian lolling between them, wholly trusting, like a child with his parents. So many other kids' books about LGBT families are so overt about it, because that family structure is the point of the story. There is a place for that, sure, but I appreciate that Christian the Hugging Lion just presents Ace and John as they are, without comment, and the very lack of discussion or spotlight serves to normalize their relationship. It's just not that big a deal, which is the take-home lesson I'd like to sink in for my two boys, since they have two mommas.    I also love Amy June Bates' illustrations. They are so colorful and playful, and so period appropriate. Remember, Ace and John adopted Christian in the 1970s: they have long, hippie hair and bellbottom jeans, and they drive a giant yacht of a convertible.   (I'm using this as Z is for Zoo in Sock Poppet's A to Z 2014 Reading Challenge.)

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly

    If you haven't seen the Christian the lion video on YouTube, go watch it right now, and have some tissues handy. The moment where Christian recognizes his human family and rushes toward them for a hug (beautifully captured in this book) will almost certainly move you to tears. This book is lovely, really, with soft illustrations and just enough text to tell the story. I'm a little concerned that I've seen this book on some "Do not let children read" lists. I suspect that it has less to do with t If you haven't seen the Christian the lion video on YouTube, go watch it right now, and have some tissues handy. The moment where Christian recognizes his human family and rushes toward them for a hug (beautifully captured in this book) will almost certainly move you to tears. This book is lovely, really, with soft illustrations and just enough text to tell the story. I'm a little concerned that I've seen this book on some "Do not let children read" lists. I suspect that it has less to do with the dangers of letting a lion in your house and more to do with the fact that the two men and their lion are repeatedly referred to as a family. Though I do not necessarily think that this implies homosexuality, as I cannot confirm whether or not Ace and John are gay, it's troubling to think that just the idea of two men living together and creating a "family" with a lion equals homosexuality to some people. It's also troubling to think that even if John and Ace were gay, that this beautiful story about the love between human and animal would be considered inappropriate for children, even though it does not deal with homosexuality in the slightest. Anyway, this is a great book. Read it to your kids and then show them the video. :)

  9. 5 out of 5

    Margo Tanenbaum

    By the authors of And Tango Makes Three, this book also tells the story of an alternative family, in this case two men who adopt a lion cub at Harrods as a pet. As incredible as it may seem, this is based on a true story. Ace and John, a young couple (in the illustrations they look like two "hippies" from the '70's), buy the cub, name him Christian and bring him to their apartment. Although he was a well-behaved little cub, he was still a lion, and we see how his owners take him for a walk, to t By the authors of And Tango Makes Three, this book also tells the story of an alternative family, in this case two men who adopt a lion cub at Harrods as a pet. As incredible as it may seem, this is based on a true story. Ace and John, a young couple (in the illustrations they look like two "hippies" from the '70's), buy the cub, name him Christian and bring him to their apartment. Although he was a well-behaved little cub, he was still a lion, and we see how his owners take him for a walk, to the pub, and even to a restaurant. The three of them "became the most unusual family in all of London," even picnicking on the beach. But soon it's clear that Christian would be better off in the wild, and they send him to Kenya, where he learns how to live in the wild. Many years later, they return to Kenya, where they find Christian now with cubs of his own, but he still remembers them and gives them a loving hug. This is a heartwarming story about the lasting nature of love between human and animals. A terrific gift for animal lovers of all ages. An author's note at the end provides some factual details about the real story of Christian.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Rochelle Sondae

    The story of Christian is so adorable that I feel bad giving the book only 2 stars. I first learned of Christian via the internet sometime in 2011 or 2012. I didn't pay too much attention at the time as to when all of these events happened and figured it was a fairly recent reunion between John, Ace and Christian. In reading the author's note I was shocked to learn this all happened in the seventies. I should have guessed based on the grainy images on YouTube but I don't always notice these thin The story of Christian is so adorable that I feel bad giving the book only 2 stars. I first learned of Christian via the internet sometime in 2011 or 2012. I didn't pay too much attention at the time as to when all of these events happened and figured it was a fairly recent reunion between John, Ace and Christian. In reading the author's note I was shocked to learn this all happened in the seventies. I should have guessed based on the grainy images on YouTube but I don't always notice these things. The book is basically the same story that the video portrays with illustrations that are in the beginning very cuddly and end up being somewhat more realistic as Christian moves back to the wild. I was expecting to see at least one real photo but there isn't one. It is still a really cute story.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Alice

    This a warm and fuzzy book (pun intended) it is a true story, it tugs at the heart strings and I enjoyed it. A lion born in captivity was going to be sold at Harrods department store in London. Two friends Ace and John thought that a cage was not a place for a lion to be...this is the beginning of a story...You have to read it...and find out...then google John and Ace and Christian reunion and watch the video. Fun one!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Mylinh

    Non-fiction Another wonderful book about a different kind of family by the author of And Tango Makes Three. A great book to read when talking about families. An animal or lion lover will love to read this book. Would also be good to read when talking about wild animals vs. tame animals and where certain animals live.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jess Brown

    Based on the incredible true story of two men who adopt a lion cub, Christian, the Hugging Lion is the work of the authors who brought us And Tango Makes Three. Adorable illustrations track the life of Christian, the lion, as he grows up in London and eventually makes a life with a family of lions in Africa. Great for elementary kids.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jenna

    Very cute picture book of the true story captured on video and went viral in 2008 of the feral lion that is reunited with his human buddies. The text takes only a few liberties with the truth, as the story is already perfect to be told as a children's story. The art is adorable - especially the cover photo. I'm happy to have this in my growing picture book collection. Very cute picture book of the true story captured on video and went viral in 2008 of the feral lion that is reunited with his human buddies. The text takes only a few liberties with the truth, as the story is already perfect to be told as a children's story. The art is adorable - especially the cover photo. I'm happy to have this in my growing picture book collection.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Dale

    My 10 year old brought this book home from school and asked me to read it to her as a bedtime story. At first glance, I thought it was a "baby book" and asked her why she checked it out. I read it to her anyway. It was such a sweet book--and based on a true story. I am glad that I took the time to read it with her. My 10 year old brought this book home from school and asked me to read it to her as a bedtime story. At first glance, I thought it was a "baby book" and asked her why she checked it out. I read it to her anyway. It was such a sweet book--and based on a true story. I am glad that I took the time to read it with her.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Holly

    LOVED this video, love the book even more. Who could see/read this and not recognize the depth of animals' emotions? And then to realize that lion held such fond memories of his original owners ... just heartwarming. LOVED this video, love the book even more. Who could see/read this and not recognize the depth of animals' emotions? And then to realize that lion held such fond memories of his original owners ... just heartwarming.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Loren

    thought this story was too cute to be real. Even after reading the author's note at the end of the book I am still not sure. Who in their right mind would buy a lion cub from a department store? Hmmm ... I will have to look for the "now-famous" video of their reunion on the Internet. thought this story was too cute to be real. Even after reading the author's note at the end of the book I am still not sure. Who in their right mind would buy a lion cub from a department store? Hmmm ... I will have to look for the "now-famous" video of their reunion on the Internet.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    Fun picture book about a lion who was purchased at Harrod's and was eventually released into the wild. The book is based on a true story that happened in the seventies. Thats right the seventies - the lions owners both sport really groovy haircuts! Fun picture book about a lion who was purchased at Harrod's and was eventually released into the wild. The book is based on a true story that happened in the seventies. Thats right the seventies - the lions owners both sport really groovy haircuts!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Pauline

    Yet another animal story based on true events...we really enjoyed it. Love the subtle nature of the 'alternative' family embedded into the greater story of the lion. Yet another animal story based on true events...we really enjoyed it. Love the subtle nature of the 'alternative' family embedded into the greater story of the lion.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Mrs. Davis

    Very Cute!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Whitney

    The youtube video makes me cry every time I see it. True story- cute. Cassie enjoyed it. I probably enjoyed it more though. :)

  22. 5 out of 5

    Tracie

    If you've seen the YouTube video of the two men who released a lion into the wild and then later went back to visit him, you'll love this story. Fans of Owen and Mzee will probably appreciate too. If you've seen the YouTube video of the two men who released a lion into the wild and then later went back to visit him, you'll love this story. Fans of Owen and Mzee will probably appreciate too.

  23. 4 out of 5

    DeeAnn

    Great, true story!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Edward Sullivan

    A couple of books have already been published about Christian the Lion but this telling is warm and inviting. The two wordless spreads showing Christian, Ace, and John are wonderful.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Donalyn

    Two Englishmen buy a lion cub from Harrods department store, but eventually release him into the wilds of Africa. Based on a true story.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mckinley

    Glad the lion found a proper home and was able to be reintroduced to the wild.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sandy

    Very sweet and true story about Christian, the hugging lion. The illustrations are pleasing and very well done... this is a nice story showing how humans can have a lasting bond with animals :)

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jessie

    This story made me cry when I originally heard it, and this book adaptation is adorable (and made me a little teary, again). :)

  29. 5 out of 5

    Peacegal

    This book is seriously adorable, It also may raise some decent discussions about whether wild animals should be kept as pets and where wild animals really belong.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Zeke

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...